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Hutch offers spectrum share to Virgin & Sky to seal O2 deal

James Pearce
April 7, 2016

Virgin Media has signed 10pc spectrum deal, while Sky has agreed to take 20pc if European regulators approve the £10.25 billion takeover

CK Hutchison has reportedly agreed deals to give up a third of its UK spectrum to Sky and Virgin Media to drive through its planned takeover of O2.

The Telegraph claims the Three-owner has agreed a ten-year deal that will see Sky take a 20 per cent share of Htuchison’s combined O2/Three spectrum, while Virgin Media has agreed a deal for 10 per cent capacity.

The agreement’s are part of Hutchison’s final offer to the European Commission as it seeks approval for its £10.25 billion acquisition of O2 from Telefonica.

European officials have until May 15 to rule on the merger, which would create the UK’s biggest mobile network, but have pushed Hutchison to create a fourth network by offering up some of its infrastructure.

Sky, which is set to launch its own MVNO later this year, has signed up to the 10 year deal if approval is given, according to sources quoted by the Telegraph. The deal is believed to be valued at around £2 billion over the course of the contract.

Hutchison has also agreed to sell the 50 per cent stake in MVNO Tesco Mobile currently owned by O2 to the retailer.

The proposed takeover, which was first announced at the start of 2015, has faced increasing doubt after Ofcom announced its opposition to the deal. European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who will rule on the merger, has also expressed concerns about the impact consolidation has on competition.

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